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A Fun and Unusual Way to Walk for Your Health

Back in the 1980’s, the airwaves were filled with a song that wanted everyone to walk like an Egyptian. I never really understood the song itself, but I have to admit. All of the moves and grooves that went with it were great forms of physical activity.

Anyone who wanted to participate had to raise their hands, dip their knees and shake their hips. So it was a fun and exciting way to get people moving!

Now I have a new move for you. It’s called Nordic walking.

Dodging Aggressive Prostate Cancer

Back in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, men diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer thought it was a death sentence. So they often opted to undergo immediate surgery or radiation treatments, which can both result in serious, lifelong side effects.

These days, however, men are increasingly choosing not to undergo immediate treatment. Instead, they are opting for active surveillance – holding off on treatment until there are signs the cancer may be advancing.

This is a great choice because, over the years, we’ve learned that most men diagnosed with prostate cancer don’t die from it. As a matter of fact, they are more likely to succumb to cardiovascular disease, COPD or Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. B’s 9 Daily Superfoods and Beverages

In the last issue of Advanced Natural Wellness, you learned how ultra-processed foods can destroy your health. On the other hand, eating a nutrient-rich diet is one of the best things you can do to increase your chances of a long and healthy life.

But trying to figure out what to eat can be overwhelming. In fact, patients often ask me if there are certain foods they should be eating more of.

This is a great question. And I’ll share with you the same answer I give my patients.

Could This Be the New “Silent Killer?”

I hate walking into the grocery store.

Most of the shelves are nothing but row after row of canned, processed, packaged, sweetened, and genetically modified foods filled with all sorts of things your body doesn’t know what to do with.

These foods consist of sugars, fats, oils, sodium and all sorts of additives guaranteed to fatten you up while leaving you sick, weak and hungry. You’ve got your flavor enhancers, bulking agents, emulsifiers, artificial sweeteners, color stabilizers, anti-caking agents, thickening agents and more.

An Incredible Source of Fiber Nobody Told You About

A large part of the carbohydrates in your diet come from starches. Potatoes, breads, pasta and rice all fall into this category.

I’m not a fan of these types of starchy foods. That’s because, when you eat too many of them, they can drive your blood sugar up and lead to metabolic disorders. So these are some of the foods I consistently advise my patients to cut back on.

However, there is a certain type of starch that has garnered more and more interest over the years. It’s called “resistant starch.” And it falls into an unusual category. Along-side being a starch, it’s also a highly-fermentable insoluble fiber.

6 Little-Know Threats to Your Brain Function

We all like to think that there is a single, correctable cause of disease. But the fact is, when things go wrong in the body, it’s never just one thing. And often-times, some of the things that negatively affect your health don’t even seem to have anything to do with the health condition in question.

Cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are perfect examples.

Sure, it makes sense that the less we use our brains, the greater the likelihood we will experience cognitive issues. Even the idea that low physical activity reduces brain function makes sense. It is very easy to imagine how sitting around reduces the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients to your brain.

4 Tips to Avoid Blood Pressure Meds

High blood pressure is subtle. You can’t see it. You can’t feel it. You can’t hear it.

It can quietly damage the body for years before symptoms start showing.  And the harm it can do to your health is incredible. Heart attack, stroke, dementia, kidney damage and even sexual dysfunction.

But what really causes high hypertension?

It’s not just one thing, that’s for sure.

What To Eat (And NOT) When Your Stomach Is Upset

Nobody likes the feeling of an upset stomach. The nausea, vomiting, cramping and diarrhea are miserable.

And uggh! The thought of putting food into an already upset stomach sounds like a horrible idea. Just the smell of certain foods can make you feel queasy all over again.

Still, there are some foods and beverages that can provide a little nutrition – and even help soothe your unsettled stomach. This is true regardless of whether the issue is caused by something you’ve eaten previously, or if it’s due to a viral or bacterial infection.

What Does it Mean When Your Knees Snap, Crackle and Pop?

Are knees that pop, creak, crunch or make grinding noises something you should be concerned about?

Well, the occasional crack or pop probably isn’t anything to worry about. In most cases, that’s just gasses being released from the joint.

But if one or both of your knees regularly makes rubbing, creaking and grinding sounds, it might be a symptom of inflammation and cartilage damage. It could also be a sign that you’ll start experiencing arthritic knee symptoms in as little as the next 12 months.

Eggs: Organic, Cage-Free or Pasture-Raised?

Up until a few years ago, most folks considered eggs off-limits. If they ate them at all, they separated out the whites, and threw the most nutritious part – the yolk – into the garbage disposal.

Well, now that eggs are off the hook when it comes to cholesterol and heart disease, you may be eating one or two of them a day – yolk and all.

This is great. The yolk is the part of the egg that’s highest in choline, which is an important brain food. If you don’t have enough of it, it can affect your memory and brain volume.

Better than Butter, Margarine and Traditional Vegetable Oils

I use extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) in the majority of my meals. Not only does it have great flavor, it’s absolutely THE BEST choice for my health.

Unlike margarine, butter and other saturated fats, EVOO has medicinal properties that can reduce your risk of health issues and early death. I’m talking about things like heart conditions, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and respiratory disease.

As a matter of fact, the American College of Cardiology suggests that replacing just over two teaspoons of margarine, butter, mayonnaise or dairy fat with olive oil each day is linked to up to a 34% lower risk of early death. So EVOO is the hands down winner.

Where Do Skin Conditions Like Psoriasis and Eczema Start?

Have you ever noticed that certain skin problems run in some families? Mom, Dad and the kids all seem to have the same sort of problems. Perhaps it’s life-long issues with psoriasis. Or maybe it’s eczema. There is a reason for this.

In particular, family members who grow up in the same household often follow the same eating habits.

Let’s say Mom and Dad grew up eating meat, dairy, white bread and sugary desserts at most of their meals. They end up feeding the same foods to their kids, and the kids pass the legacy on to the grandkids.

Weird Signs Your Arteries May be Clogged

My father, brothers, and uncles all suffered from heart attacks. They also all had one strange physical sign – creased earlobes!

Believe it or not, this is a warning sign that your arteries may be at increased risk for clogging. And there are well over 50 studies to prove it. (Look for a crease that runs diagonally from the top of your earlobe to the lower edge of your earlobe.)

Earlobe creases form because of weakened then folded collagen in your ears. It’s also a sign of weakened collagen elsewhere…especially in your arteries. Once this symptom appears, it’s really important for you to take note.

6 Day Organic Diet Lowers Glyphosate by 70%

Not long ago, four American families took part in a very revealing experiment. The families were from Atlanta, Baltimore, Minneapolis and Oakland, and each included two or three children.

For the first five days, the families ate their regular diets, which consisted of non-organic foods. These are the types of food that the average American eats.

For the next six days, the families continued to eat their regular diets with only one, single exception: all of the foods they ate were certified organic.

5 Healthy Beverages that Aren’t Water

I’ve noticed an odd thing over the years.

When it comes to choosing something to drink besides water, a lot of folks have no idea what constitutes a healthy beverage.

For example, I’ve noticed that most of the “healthy” choices made by my patients include milk, juice and diet soda.

The Sweet Smell of Better Brain Function

Last month I mentioned an interesting thing about music… how certain songs can transport you back in time to a specific moment that evokes a cherished memory.

Have you ever noticed that the same thing happens with certain scents and odors? It might be a whiff of perfume that suddenly brings an image of your mother; or maybe freshly mowed grass that produces the youthful memory of hot summer days spent outdoors playing with friends.

There are a lot of memories, emotions and feelings associated with our sense of smell. So it’s probably not surprising that people who have a poor sense of smell also tend to have worse memories.

Should You Drink for Your Health?

My patients often ask me which type of alcohol is the “healthiest.” And they’re always disappointed in my answer.

There is no “healthy” alcohol.

“But doc,” they say. “Red wine protects your heart” … “Moderate drinking helps you live longer” …

Hope for Everyone Over the Age of 70

I love hearing about older people who have defied the myth of old age.

One of my favorites is Ernestine Shepherd. When she was in her late 50’s, she looked and acted like we seem to think people approaching their 60’s should. She was overweight, had no interest in exercise, and had never worked out a day in her life.

But guess what happened?

What Can a Multivitamin Do for You?

You often hear that vitamins and other supplements are a waste of money… that following a diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables provides all the essential vitamins and minerals you need.

This is a nice concept in theory, but the fact is, only one out of every 10 adults eat the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables. This means 90% of Americans are eating less than the current guidelines of 1½ to 2 cups of fruit per day and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables.

In other words, the majority of Americans have significant nutrient gaps in their diet. And these deficiencies can lead directly to poor health.

So the idea that supplementation is a waste of money is absurd! This is especially wrongheaded (and short sighted) since the protective nutritional content of our food has decreased while the environmental and life stressors we experience have increased!

5 Ways to Get this Rogue Anti-Nutrient Out of Your Diet

Back in 1988 a strange thing happened.

A hospital launched a “Healthy Eating Day.”

But shortly after enjoying the healthy lunch offered by the hospital, one of the surgical record-keepers fell ill. And before the end of the day, 10 more people who ate in the cafeteria experienced nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

What was happening? How could a perfectly healthy meal make people sick?

Age Healthier with Plant-Based Protein

Plant-based proteins include nuts, beans and seeds.

When most people think of protein sources, their first thoughts generally run toward poultry, beef and other meat sources. Next on the list are things like eggs, milk and cheese; again from animal sources.

Plant-based protein sources, like nuts or beans are never high on the list. For most folks, they aren’t even on the list!

Well, guess what? It turns out that people who eat higher amounts of plant-based protein have a greater likelihood of healthy aging compared to those who get most of their protein from animal sources.

Fun in the Bedroom is Good for Your Heart!

The topics my patients ask me about run the gamut.

But the one that always surprises me the most is when patients ask if it’s still okay to have sex. This question mostly comes from men who think they’re “too old” for bedroom activity or have a heart condition. (That doesn’t mean that a fair share of women don’t ask this question, too!)

For some reason, maybe due to television dramas, they imagine they’ll experience sudden cardiac arrest during these activities and die in the arms of their lover.

While this is certainly not the worst way to go, it’s an extremely unlikely outcome.

10 Instances When You Need Water the Most

When you get thirsty, there are so many choices that are tastier than water. Soda, sweetened juices, or even a beer might sound good.

And sure, all of these beverages do offer some hydration. But you have to consider all of the crap found in them. Things like sugar, corn syrup, sodium, artificial sweeteners and flavorings that will send you down to the path of bad health and early death.

The more important point, however, is that your body needs water to survive. Up to 60% of the adult body is made up of water. It’s found in every cell, every organ and every type of tissue in your body. Even the bones contain water.

Every Day Foods that Give You Focus and Energy

Do you run out of steam before the day ends, or maybe even before it starts?

If there isn’t an underlying health condition involved, there are a lot of different reasons this could happen. You might not be sleeping as well as you should. Maybe you’re not getting enough exercise. Stress can do it to you. So can dehydration.

But sometimes it’s the foods you’re eating. Or not eating.

Frailty and Forgetfulness Are NOT Normal Outcomes of Aging

Some people think it’s “normal” to grow weak, lose weight and start moving at a snail’s pace as we grow older. That it’s “normal” to lose your mental faculties and succumb to dementia.

If it’s so normal, then why are there so many active, healthy and engaged senior citizens out there?

Take Norman Lear, for example. Along with nearly everyone else in America, I was shocked and saddened by his recent death. He was 101 years old and still going strong before he died of cardiac arrest last month.

This television icon was extremely active and cognizant, even in “old age.”

Hoping to Avoid Knee Replacement? Try This.

Here’s a whopper of a statistic: Out of around 14 million US adults who have knee arthritis, it’s estimated that more than half of them will eventually require knee replacement surgery.

Now, going through knee replacement surgery isn’t a walk in the park (no pun intended). After surgery, you literally have to learn to walk again. And there will be a lot of physical therapy. Depending on your health, it could take several months to regain a normal gait and speed.

But here’s the thing…

The Amazing Effect Music has on Dementia

Have you ever noticed that certain songs can transport you back in time? Back to a specific moment that evokes a cherished memory?

Or that you can hear a song on the radio that you haven’t listened to for 10 or 15 years and suddenly remember every word, note and nuance of it?

Some music is so familiar and upbeat that you can’t resist tapping your feet and bobbing your head every time you hear it, no matter where you are or what you’re feeling at the time.

And here is something that’s even more amazing.

20 Minutes to a Better Night’s Sleep

Sleep is one of those things a lot of people don’t get enough of.

In our younger years, it just didn’t seem that important. We were too gung-ho to get as much done in a single day as we could. Who cared about sleep?

But as we age, the decision to sleep or not isn’t always our choice to make. You’ve probably experienced this more often than you did when you were younger. You want to sleep, but it evades you.

The Medicinal Benefits of Herbal Teas

I don’t think people realize that herbal teas aren’t really tea, per say. Green and black teas all come from the same Camellia sinensis plant. The difference between them comes from green tea being steamed after the leaves are harvested. This prevents oxidation and increases levels of health boosting EGCG (Epigallocatechin).

Herbal teas, on the other hand, are made using the leaves, stems, roots, flowers, bark, seeds or petals of specific herbal plants. So they are more of an herbal infusion, even though we call them herbal teas.

And we’ve all used one or more of these herbal concoctions at some point in our lives.

Popular Weight Loss Drugs Linked to Pancreatitis

Have you ever noticed that all drug commercials are basically same? The words might change. But in the end, all of them portray happy people and happy families.

TV ads for GLP-1 agonists are some of the worst. These are those drugs you see advertised on TV to support weight loss and help manage blood sugar levels. Some of the brand names include Trulicity, Byetta, Victoza, Rybelsus, Monjauro and Ozempic.

Most of the advertisements for these meds include a feel-good catchphrase or jingle. Some of them even contain subliminal messages. The Ozempic commercial is a perfect example of this.

When Your Feet Feel Like They are On Fire

People don’t comprehend the absolute unremitting pain of peripheral neuropathy. It begins with tingling in the feet, then moves on to a feeling of “pins and needles” or burning sensations like your feet are on fire. It can even feel as if you’re walking on clouds – like your feet aren’t touching the floor – because you can’t feel the floor.

But it’s not until the real pain starts that people begin to get upset. That’s when it starts interfering with daily activities, because it’s difficult to walk or remain standing for any length of time.

Left untreated, it could lead to numbness and a loss of feeling in the feet, which can severely affect your balance.

Your Best Defense Against Catching a Viral Infection

On December 14, 2023 the CDC announced that Flu and Covid cases had not yet reached their peaks this season. And sure enough, virus activity was on the rise during the last week of December. So we can expect to see this trend continue into January, maybe even February.

Your best defense against these types of viral infections is to ramp up your immune response, increase antiviral activity in your body for the duration, avoid sick people in general and, more specifically, steer clear of crowded and closed indoor spaces.

I like to ramp up my immune system with the foods I eat. In fact, years and years ago I created a great recipe for my own, natural, immune booster.

Would You Like a Side of Glyphosate with That?

Are you still sold on the idea that whole wheat breads, cereals and pastas are your best sources of fiber and the answer to good health?

I’m not. And I’ll bet your reaction this statement is the same as many of my patients.

“What the heck, Doc,” they say. “Our ancestors ate grains all the time. What’s your problem?”

It’s not my problem. It’s everyone’s.

One of the Most Overlooked Causes of Low Energy

When I was in medical school, my classmates and I were all taught about Addison’s disease. That’s when the adrenal glands literally fail. We also learned about Cushing’s, a disease that occurs when you have too much cortisol and other hormones.

But the idea of adrenal fatigue itself was never a topic. And to this day, many doctors don’t understand it, let alone know how to diagnose it. In fact, the medical industry doesn’t actually even recognize it as a real medical condition.

On the other hand, this is something we’re seeing more and more of. Especially as the stressors associated with modern life continue to grow. These stressors consistently activate our “fight or flight” response, which lies at the root of adrenal fatigue.

The Safest Water on Earth

To be honest, the safest water on the planet is probably found high in the Himalayan mountains — where glaciers are slowly melting away.

This water is crisp, clean, and untainted by any human chemicals.

But any natural water source that flows downhill will pick up toxins along the way.

Feed Your Eyes for Life-Long Vision

Losing your eyesight is no joke. It’s the fastest way to lose independence as you age… you’ll lose your driver’s license… have trouble getting around… things that were once easy will become a struggle.

And one of the most devastating eye conditions today is age-related macular degeneration, or AMD. It’s the leading cause of blindness in people over 60 years of age.

But AMD isn’t something that happens overnight. It takes years of damage to your macula.

Jet Lag? Eat a Hearty Breakfast to Reset Your Time Zone.

Well, it’s that time of year again. People are packing their bags and getting ready to hop on a flight to visit family and friends for the Christmas holiday. 

According to a survey conducted by The Vacationeer, a travel website, approximately 50% of U.S. adults are expected to travel for the holiday this year. So, in the coming days millions of Americans will be flooding to the airport; all of them hoping to avoid long delays and cancellations.

Holiday travel is always stressful. And if you are traveling across time zones, the fatigue, irritability and digestive issues that accompany jet lag can compound that stress… the last thing you need if you want to truly enjoy the festivities.

Is It Cognitive Decline or Just Forgetfulness?

In many cases, small lapses in memory don’t mean a lot.  After all, most of us have experienced occasional memory blips throughout our lives.

From the youngest to the oldest of adults, we’ve all lost a remote control, missed a scheduled appointment or two, and forgotten to return any number of phone calls.

And who doesn’t forget what day it is every now and then?

Holiday Secret: Mistletoe Kills Cancer Cells

Now that the holidays are in full swing, I’ll bet you’ll find yourself under a sprig of mistletoe a time or two over the next couple of weeks. You might even get a few pecks on the cheek.

But mistletoe isn’t just for kissing. It also shows great hope as a powerful weapon in the fight against cancer.

You don’t hear much about it here in the U.S. But over in Europe, mistletoe has been used to treat cancer since the 1920s. It’s even considered a routine treatment protocol in European hospitals. And cancer patients swear by it.

The Startling Truth About Heartburn Meds

If you suffer from heartburn, acid reflux or other digestive complaints, it is incredibly easy to take an antacid drug in the hopes of gaining some relief. But if you start relying on these medications to consistently ease your symptoms, you could be making one of the biggest mistakes of your life.

In recent years, the safety of these meds – both over-the-counter and prescription – has been called into question. And with all of the evidence I’ve seen, I can honestly say that they present a clear and present danger when it comes to your health.

I’m talking about proton pump inhibitors, or PPI’s. Some of the popular brands that fall into this category include Nexium, Prilosec, Protonix and Prevacid… also known by their generic names; esomeprazole, omeprazole, lansoprazole and pantoprazole.

Secrets to a Happy and Healthy Retirement

I’m past the traditional age of retirement. But I don’t see myself stopping work anytime soon.

I just enjoy talking with people about functional medicine too much. I love seeing my patients. And I take a great deal of pleasure attending training and educational opportunities – especially when I’m invited as a keynote speaker.

Plus, I’ve read the statistics on what happens to people when they work longer, and I really like them.

Are Hidden Gut Problems Making Your Arthritis and Joint Pain Worse?

I recently had a patient diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). She had joint pain and swelling in the fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees, ankles; everywhere!

When she came to see me, we did a comprehensive digestive stool analysis. This is a stool test that looks at a lot of things. This includes markers of digestion, absorption, sensitivities, inflammation and immune function.

The results of the test showed she was grossly inflamed, with a very high level of increased intestinal permeability – or leaky gut. It turns out she was sensitive to a lot of the foods she was eating, especially gluten.

Sure-Fire Ways to Reclaim Your Manhood

Just a few days ago I informed you about the way low estrogen is a major cause of sexual health issues in postmenopausal women. Today, I would like to talk about estrogen from a male perspective.

As we men age, two hormonal changes of great consequence happen; testosterone levels decline and estrogen levels go up. Now, we hear plenty about testosterone. After all, it’s the “manly” hormone. Every man on earth wants more of it.

But we don’t hear nearly enough about estrogens. And these days, estrogens are a real problem when it comes to maintaining male virility. These excess estrogens are often the main cause of excess belly fat, loss of muscle strength and the development of breast tissue – often referred to as “man-boobs.”

MUST SHARE! Women’s Sexual Health Issues are Just as Important as Men’s

When it comes to sexual health, we men are prone to experience problems with erectile dysfunction. Still, it seems to me that aging women have it a lot worse.

First, they have to suffer through the hot flashes and night sweats associated with menopause. This goes on for an average of about seven years, but can continue for as many as 14.

Then, they have to spend the remainder of their lives living with the consequences of the hormonal shifts that occurred during menopause. And it can really wreck their sex lives.

Holiday Drinking: Let’s Keep it Safe!

The holiday season is here, and over the next several weeks you’ll be invited to any number of gatherings. Chances are good that alcohol will be flowing pretty freely at these events. So even if you don’t normally indulge, you’ll probably find yourself with a drink in your hand on more than one occasion.

The fact is, more people overindulge in alcoholic beverages during the winter holidays than at any other time of the year. And it’s not hard to find yourself more than a little “tipsy” before you realize you’ve sipped one drink too many.

That’s because, depending on your weight, liver size and health, your body can only metabolize so much alcohol each hour. But when it catches up with you, it can hit like a sledgehammer.

Could This Be the Leading Cause of Obesity in the US?

Back in the 1960’s, obesity wasn’t much of a concern. It wasn’t even really an issue. After all, only a small portion of U.S. adults – about 13 out of every hundred – were dealing with extreme weight issues.

Today it’s an entirely different story. Around 43 out of every hundred adults are obese. Add on the number of people who are overweight, and it turns out that nearly 74% of American adults are struggling with their weight!

While there are a lot of factors involved in the obesity epidemic, one of the most important factors might just be the widespread availability (and yum factor!) of foods that have a high fructose content.

Is High Blood Pressure Messing with Your Brain?

You already know that uncontrolled high blood pressure is bad for your heart.

It creates microscopic tears in the walls of your arteries. These tears eventually turn into rough scar tissue where sticky fats, plaques and cholesterol tend to accumulate. This, in turn, leads to blockages, narrowing of the arteries and arterial stiffness.

Once this occurs blood flow is reduced even further. And your heart has to pump harder and harder to get blood to all of your organs.

This means high blood pressure doesn’t just place your heart at risk.

Drop Pounds, Build Muscle, Boost Energy and Stimulate Anti-Aging Genes

Dieters often cringe at the mention of calorie restriction. And there is a reason why.

Most of them have already gone through the torture of nearly starving themselves for a few days, weeks or longer. They even got excited when they lost a few pounds.

Then, one of two things happened.

  1. The gnawing hunger drove them crazy, so they stopped early in the game.
  2. They were able to sustain the restricted diet, but hit a weight-loss plateau and gave up.

4 Causes of Elbow Pain (And what to do about it!)

When people come into my office with unexplained aches, pains or numbness in one elbow or another, they often describe their condition as “tennis elbow.”

And in many cases, they’ve looked this term up on the internet to set their own treatment schedule, only to find that it’s not working.

The reason is pretty simple. Not all aches and pains of the elbow are the same. So if you’re treating yourself for tennis elbow, you may be aggravating another condition that’s actually causing your elbow pain.

Why A Good Night’s Sleep Is Critical During Flu Season

Allowing your immune system to get rundown during flu season is like issuing an invitation for the flu to take up residence in your body.

Now, there are many reasons your immune function may be working sluggishly. Spending all your time indoors and a lack of physical activity are both linked with lowered immune function. A poor diet never does anyone any good. Stress, grief and depression will all run it down quickly.

And let’s not forget about the link between poor sleep, reduced immune function and the flu.

SHOCKER: Most COPD Patients Never Even Smoked!

Here is an odd and random statistic…

COPD is third highest cause of death here in the U.S., following right on the heels of heart disease and cancer. This means more people die from chronic respiratory disease each year than from stroke, Alzheimer’s, diabetes or influenza.

So I find it strange that people aren’t talking about it.

Discover the Power of Functional Medicine

My new patients are often surprised when I don’t approach their health concerns in the way they expect.

For instance, I once had a 50-year-old woman visit my office with awful joint pain. She was morbidly obese with pain in her fingers, knuckles, wrists, shoulders, knees and hips.

A bone scan ordered by her conventional rheumatologist showed systemic inflammatory illness in her joints.

Cardiac Arrest Warning Signs Differ Between Men and Women

Pretty much everyone knows that if an artery gets clogged it can trigger a heart attack. What many people may not realize is that heart attack symptoms often differ between men and women.

Sure, classic symptoms such as chest pain are common in both sexes. But women are much more likely to have less common symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, a feeling of indigestion or back pain – without any chest discomfort at all.

This can lead to problems getting a proper diagnosis for women. It’s something I remember from the days when I was in training.

A Spicy Way to Tame Your Salt Cravings

Salt intake is quite a dilemma these days. On one hand, your body needs sodium to transmit nerve impulses, help your muscle’s function and maintain fluid balance.

But when you get too much of it, it accumulates in the bloodstream where it attracts water. When this happens it increases blood pressure, which can damage your blood vessels and increase the workload on your heart.

And the truth is, most folks are getting a lot more sodium than they need these days – sometimes without even realizing it.

How to Bridge the Nutritional Gaps in Your Diet

So many in the medical community have dismissed the use of supplements as a tool for better health. Their logic is about as simple as it gets: If you eat a healthy diet, you’ll get all of the nutrition you need.

Well, a June 2023 study out of Oregon State University says just the opposite.

When a group of men age 68 and older took either a multivitamin or placebo, the results spoke for themselves.

Men: Is the “Urge to Go” Destroying Your Bedroom Fun?

When men think of prostate problems, they immediately think of urinary difficulties.

After all, that’s what we all hear about… dribbling over the toilet in the middle of the night. Road trips postponed and ball games cut short because of the “urge to go.”

But there’s another side of the story that is equally disturbing:

Lesser-Known Causes of High Blood Pressure

Everybody knows that a high sodium intake, excess weight and lack of physical activity are all bad for their blood pressure, right? It’s because we talk about these key contributors to hypertension all of the time. But what about the ones that we seldom hear about?

For example, did you know that when you are dehydrated, it causes your blood pressure to increase? Part of the reason is due to the fact that dehydration causes the body to retain more sodium. And, as we all know, higher sodium levels are directly related to hypertension.

At the same time, dehydration causes your body to release more vasopressin than it normally would. This chemical causes blood vessels to constrict, which makes your blood pressure rise.

Music: Exercise Motivator or Relaxation Tool?

In the September 25, 2023 issue of Advanced Natural Wellness, I mentioned how much I love to put on some music and bop around the house while I’m doing chores.

I do the same thing when I’m ready for some more purposeful physical activity.

For example, I love listening to the Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams” when I’m walking on a treadmill. With the speed set at 3.5 miles per hour, I find it’s the perfect tune to give a bounce to my step and a boost to my brain.

A NEAT Way to Get More Active

Sometimes it seems like the older we get, the lazier we become.

Instead of taking the stairs we are happy to ride the elevator – even if it’s going to take us longer. It’s easier to go through a drive-up window than get out of the car and walk indoors; or to drive the quarter mile to the coffee shop instead of walking.

Today’s technology has made it even worse. If you don’t feel like shopping, Instacart or Walmart Delivery will be happy to deliver groceries to your front door. If cooking sounds like too much work, DoorDash, Uber Eats and other delivery services are happy to bring the meal of your choice to your home.

Supercharge Your Veggies!

Everybody needs to get nutrient rich vegetables in their diets. It doesn’t matter which dietary lifestyle you’re operating on. Whether it’s omnivorous, carnivorous, vegetarian or vegan, you still need to have your vegetables.

So why not eat the ones that have the most nutritional value?  

You see, some plant-based foods are more nutritionally dense than others. We give them a score, called the “nutritional density score,” based on the balance of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber in them.

Warning: Low-Dose Aspirin Linked to Anemia

Everyone wants to protect their heart health, and taking low-dose aspirin sounds like an inexpensive way to do that. After all, what harm could come from taking an over-the-counter pill that was originally formulated for children?

Well, the fact is that low-dose aspirin is so dangerous that, if a company attempted to bring it to market today, it would never make it. It just wouldn’t pass scrutiny.

That’s because the evidence of horrible side-effects with daily use is overwhelming.

When Old Feet Get Cranky

Your feet are your body’s foundation. And they’re awesome.

Believe it or not, each foot accounts for about 1.5% or less of your bodyweight. Yet they carry the entire weight of your body around for an entire lifetime. More than that, really. Because when you walk, the pressure on your heels and the front of your feet can be more the double your body weight.

And here’s an amazing little tidbit for you. If you walk 7,500 steps a day, by the end of your life you will have walked the equivalent of about five times around the Earth.

What Works to Ease Knee Pain, and What Doesn’t

If you suffer from knee osteoarthritis, there are a lot of common treatments that don’t work well, and an equally long list of alternative treatments that do.

So today I’m going to make things extremely easy for you.

First, we will take a look at what doesn’t work to ease knee pain. Then, I’ll clearly explain what does.

Processed Meat, Rice and Refined Carbs Driving Up Type 2 Diabetes Rates

Type 2 diabetes is a real epidemic these days, and it comes with all sorts of health problems. It puts you at two to four times the chance of heart disease or a stroke. It affects your brain function, damages your nerves and causes kidney problems.

The one thing many people don’t realize is that type 2 diabetes is largely preventable. This is true even in people who are genetically susceptible to the disease.

As a matter of fact, a large study recently discovered that poor diet has been tied to more than 70 percent of new type 2 diabetes cases worldwide. That’s a huge number!

Every-Day Mistakes that Sabotage Your Brain

Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are top concerns for my aging patients. Many of them lost one or both of their parents to the disease. Some have lost a grandparent or two to it.

If you’ve experienced this type of loss, you might feel like you have a target on your back… that you’re next in line.

Well I’ll tell you the truth. While you may be at higher genetic risk of the disease, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are a prime candidate for it. I always explain to my patient that it’s not genetics that count the most… it’s how you live your life.

Little Known Heart Threats You May Not Know About

I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables to support my heart health.

In fact, one of my favorite kinds of green smoothies is filled to the brim with fruits and vegetables. I start with some honey and nut milk followed by a generous bunch of dark-leafy green vegetables like spinach or romaine.

Then, I’ll add in some blueberries or a frozen banana and top it off with a heaping teaspoonful of ground flaxseed and some organic almond or cashew butter. Then, I’ll blend it until it’s smooth and creamy.

Today’s Most Important (and Least Understood!) Supplement

Everyone “gets” the idea of taking a multi-vitamin, minerals and many other supplements to help offset nutritional deficits.

But what about CoQ10?

CoQ10 is one of those nutrients everyone over the age of 40 needs more of. It’s also one that’s least understood by most folks.

It’s not a vitamin. It’s not a mineral. So what is it and why do you need it?

3 Common Health Threats that Come with Age

It seems like every new decade comes with its own set of health issues.

When I turned 30, I got out of bed and my ankles cracked. When I turned 40, my knees cracked. And when I turned 50, my back cracked…

By the time I turned 60, I just hid under my covers and didn’t get up. (Just kidding!)

In all honesty, heading into your 60’s and 70’s can be intimidating. These ages come with a stigma attached to them that you’re past your prime.

You feel sort of like an old piece of food that came from the grocery store – one with a “use by” date that is fast approaching.

Is too much Nighttime Light Ruining Your Health?

One thing that drives me absolutely crazy is ambient light in my bedroom when I’m trying to sleep. I leave my phone in my office, cover up all of those blue, green and red lights from power strips and other equipment, and use black out shades on my windows. Otherwise, I can’t sleep at all.

There is a reason those lights affect my sleep. They may be affecting yours too, and you might not even be aware of it.

You see, in the absence of light, our brains produce melatonin, our main “sleep hormone.” But when we are exposed to light at nighttime – even low levels of it – melatonin production is halted.

Super Juice for Your Heart, Brain and Joints

I once had an 87-year-old patient who gave me his recipe for a drink he called “Blood.”

Now, before you get too grossed out, let me explain…

Yes, his bright red juice looked a lot like blood. But this name was appropriate for another reason.

The superstar of his drink was beetroot juice – an ingredient that can actually boost blood flow throughout your entire body.

Just one glass of beetroot juice a day can help protect your heart and brain, boost your stamina, and ease your aching joints all day long.

Gum Disease and Your Health, What’s the Connection?

I’ve been using a water pic for about the past three months. And on my most recent dental cleaning, the hygienist at my dentist’s office was amazed. I had no plaque!

They wondered what I had been doing, and I explained that I had added the water pic to my daily dental routine.

It acts like dental floss, except that it uses a jet of water to irrigate all of those tight spaces and crevices between your teeth and at your gumline. That means it can flush plaque and bacteria out of the periodontal pockets under your gumline where it gathers and can lead to infection.

How To Beat the Extreme Summer Heat

All across the U.S. – from California to Louisiana and South Florida – record high temperatures are being broken. Not only that, but power grids are being stretched to their limits trying to keep millions of air-conditioners running.

So the first order of business is to try and stay as cool as possible.

If you’re stuck at home without A/C or if the power is out, a couple of cool, wet cloths can work magic, so keep a few on hand. You can wrap them around your neck, wrists or ankles to help cool you down. Sink into a tub of cool water or take a cold shower during the hottest part of the day for a full body cool-down.

Is Age-Related Testosterone Loss Affecting Your Life?

By the time we men hit our 30s, our testosterone levels naturally start declining. But over the past several decades, testosterone levels in the U.S. have been dropping more quickly than they did 30 years ago. 

Since the late 1980’s, average levels of testosterone in men dropped by one percent each year. So a 65-year-old man in 2021 would have levels 30% lower than a 65-year-old man in 1991. These decreases don’t appear to be associated with lifestyle, so why the big decline?

Well, these days estrogen mimics, called xenoestrogens, are all over the place. These fake estrogens attach to certain cell receptor sites and displace testosterone. Over time they build up in your system and exert estrogen dominance in men. And you can find them almost everywhere.

Too Much of This Makes You Look Old

We’ve always lived with blue light from the sun. Now we’re getting it from our electronic screens too. So we’re exposed to a lot more blue light than we used be.

And it’s crazy how much time people are spending on their phones these days! Depending on which poll you read, people are averaging anywhere from 3.25 hours to 5.7 hours each day on their smartphones…every day.

Do the math and that adds up to between 53 and 86 days a year on their phones.

Most People With Kidney Problems Don’t Even Know It!

People have so many health concerns as they age. They worry about their hearts, memory, eyesight, weight and so much more.

But when is the last time you wondered how your kidneys were doing? You really want to keep these 5 inch long bean shaped filters of your blood as happy as they can be.

Still, kidney function decreases as we get older. In fact, by the time we’re in our 60’s, kidney problems are pretty common. The problem is, nine out of ten adults with chronic kidney disease (CKD) don’t even know they have it! That means most people with poorly functioning kidneys are walking around the world unaware.

How We Evolved to Stay Active in Old Age

We’ve been raised with the idea that, when we reach a certain age, we should retire. Just slow down and live the good life.

I think this is a problem. We’re already less active than we should be, simply due to the fact that while we know we need to be active, advances in  everything from transportation to TV remotes has allowed us to stay on our behinds. As recently as the 1800s, if you wanted to go somewhere, you walked. Or you got on your horse. You didn’t get into your car to drive one mile.

Back then, most people lived on farms. They didn’t have John Deere tractors like we do today. So they had to walk behind a horse with a plow.

Shut Down the Genes that Cause Disease

“Should I have my DNA tested to see what diseases I’m at risk for?”

This is a question I hear more and more often these days. And I understand the appeal. It’s human nature to want to know as much about ourselves as possible. DNA testing is a great way to get some of those answers.

So if you want to try it out, I’m not going to discourage you. But I do have a couple of observations to make.

What Is Uric Acid and Why Is It Important?

You probably know your cholesterol and triglyceride levels by heart. It’s just as likely you can recite your blood sugar and blood pressure numbers when asked.     

But do you have any idea what your uric acid level is?

Probably not.

In fact, there’s a good chance you don’t even know what uric acid is. That’s unfortunate, because it can play a dramatic role in your health.

Sunglasses: Not Just For Style

Every time I get into my car, I always reach for my little glove compartment right away. I stash my regular glasses and slip on my sunglasses.

Then, I’m ready to roll.

Even if it’s a cloudy day, these sunglasses stay on until the sun disappears below the horizon. Just like applying sunscreen, wearing your sunglasses should be a regular part of your routine when going outside.

The Health Halo: How Marketing Claims Mislead You

In these days of health consciousness, food and beverage manufacturers will go to great lengths to convince you that their products will make your life healthier.

You see it every time you go to the store. Marketers place starbursts on their products claiming they are sugar free, low fat, reduced sodium, cholesterol free, gluten free and a whole lot more.

The truth is that, regardless of these statements, the foods may not be any healthier than their full-bodied counterparts. Still, using these terms gives the foods something called a health halo; or the halo effect. You automatically think they are going to benefit your health in some way without having any proof of it.

Is Metal Toxicity Behind Your Mystery Illness?

A few years ago, my 35-year-old neighbor collapsed in his driveway taking the trash out.

He was immediately rushed to the hospital where the medical staff performed a full work-up on him. One diagnostic test after another was carried out. Finally they gave him the good news…

There was nothing wrong with him. He could go home.

My neighbor didn’t believe this for a minute. After all, he still felt horrible. And guess what happened when he tried to leave the hospital?

Muscle: It’s More than Strength and Movement

There’s no doubt about it. As we humans grow older, we tend to lose muscle strength. The medical term for it is sarcopenia.

It’s sort of like osteoporosis of the muscles. Whereas osteoporosis is a condition where the skeleton loses bone mass and quality, sarcopenia is a disorder that results in the loss of muscle mass and function.

These health conditions are two of the primary reasons older people become frail and end up experiencing more falls, fractures and hospitalizations as they age. And these conditions often occur together.

What do earlobes and arteries have in common

My father, brothers, and uncles all suffered from heart attacks. They also all had one strange physical sign – creased earlobes!

Believe it or not, this is a warning sign that your arteries may be at increased risk for clogging – and there are well over 50 studies to prove it. (Look for a crease that runs diagonally from  the top of your earlobe to the lower edge of your earlobe.)

Earlobe creases form because of weakened then folded collagen in your ears. It’s also a sign of weakened collagen elsewhere…especially in your arteries. Once this symptom appears, it’s really important for you to take note.

The “Oh So Sweet” Side of Honey

Did you know that when 3,000-year-old honey was discovered in King Tut’s tomb in 1922, the honey was still good?

Honey is one of those rare foods that never spoil. This has to do with a combination of an acidic PH and low water content that creates an environment that kills off pretty much any bacteria trying to grow in it.

At the same time, raw honey has a high level of antimicrobial activity. It’s loaded with phenolic compounds that act as powerful antioxidants. And, since ancient times, it has been used medicinally to treat wounds, coughs, skin disorders, eye diseases, gastrointestinal disorders, heart palpitations and many other health conditions.

The Best Seafood to Reduce Mercury Exposure

Every now and then I run across a patient who won’t eat fish. It’s not because they don’t like it. It’s because they’ve read one too many scary stories about mercury poisoning.

I get it. And I agree that all heavy metals, not just mercury, are a problem in today’s society.

However, this may be one instance where avoiding a specific food group for “health reasons” may actually be doing more harm than good.

Two Food Sensitivities that Contribute to IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome isn’t considered a disease. Yet it is the gastrointestinal complaint most frequently diagnosed by medical professionals.

But most physicians don’t know what to do about it. There isn’t a pill you can take to cure it.

In the meantime, the gas, bloating, pain and bowel issues associated with IBS can be excruciating, embarrassing, and interfere with your active lifestyle.

This Isn’t Your Ancestors’ Food

Overeating is built into our genes. It comes from the days when our ancestors experienced long periods of famine.

Once food became available again, they didn’t just take five bites of it and say “Oh, I’m full. I’ll save the rest for leftovers tomorrow.”

No way!

They kept on eating… as much as they could for as long as they could. It was the only way they had to build up their energy stores to survive the next famine.

To Nap or Not to Nap?

A few years after I entered medical school my life was turned upside down. I went from being a nine-to-five clinical pharmacist to becoming an acutely sleep deprived medical student in a heartbeat.

It wasn’t easy.

I clearly remember hitting my third year of med school. That’s when those long, punishing hours of clinical rotations on the wards began. After that, there wasn’t time for anything else. Not even sleep.

Does Cranberry Juice Really Help with UTIs?

If you get a urinary tract infection (UTI), the first piece of advice you’ll get from just about everybody you know is to drink cranberry juice.

But does cranberry juice really help with UTIs? Or is it just an old wives’ tale?

Before I answer that question, it’s important to understand UTIs. In a nutshell, 80-90% of UTIs are caused by a strain of E. coli called UPEC bacteria. (That’s a lot easier to pronounce than “uropathogenic Escherichia coli!”)

Are Avocados Part of the Mediterranean Diet?

Of all the diets out there, the Mediterranean style of eating is the one I think is the most beneficial to your health. This way of eating is loaded with antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables of all colors of the rainbow. Plus, the nuts, olive oil and fish consumed in this type of diet are all packed with healthy fats.

But there’s one fruit that has never “officially” been part of the Mediterranean diet, even though it fits perfectly with the Mediterranean style of eating. It’s rich and creamy with a mild taste. And it has an even more potent nutrient profile than olives.

I’m talking about the avocado. This tasty fruit is one of my favorite foods, and not just because it tastes good and is easy to add to my meals.

What Poor Sleep Habits Mean for Your Lung Health

Many people think of asthma as something that develops at a young age. But it can actually emerge at any age. People can even develop asthma symptoms for the first time when they are in their 60s, 70s and 80s.

Interestingly, new research published in the open access journal BMJ Open Respiratory Research shows people who have poor sleep patterns are more likely to develop asthma.

The risk is highest in people with both a genetic predisposition for asthma and poor sleep habits. These folks are about twice as likely to develop asthma than people who have healthy sleep patterns.

Forgotten Minerals for Your Heart, Brain and More

In the world of health supplements, minerals are boring. They aren’t new and exciting anti-aging discoveries that everyone wants to get their hands on. Instead, they’ve been forgotten.

Unless it’s calcium for bones, nobody really thinks about them anymore.

But that doesn’t mean they aren’t vital to your good health.

Make Grilled Meat Healthy Again

With the arrival of summer next month, grilling season will be ramping up in many parts of the country. (Down here in South Florida, it never ends!)

I’ve enjoyed grilled steaks, ribs and chicken. They are even better when eaten outdoors surrounded by friends, family and neighbors.

But they come with a problem.

6 Surprisingly Tasty Fermented Foods

I drink kombucha every night. It’s a fizzy, tangy, and sometimes sweet drink. And it’s delicious.

But one of my favorite things about kombucha is that it’s filled with gut-friendly pre and probiotics that keep my gut microbiome ticking along at full speed, as well as digestive enzymes to support my own digestion.

It’s one of many fermented foods that support the immune system, reduce inflammation, improve your mood and protect your health.

Psychobiotics and Your Mental Health

The two most common mental health disorders in the U.S. are depression and anxiety. Millions of people experience the persistent feelings of sadness, apprehension and dread that come with these mental health issues.

While genetics may influence mental health, it’s lifestyle choices that matter the most – your diet, physical activity levels, sleep habits and so forth.

But, by far, I would have to say it’s the lousy foods we’re eating that are contributing the most to the mental health crisis.

Change Your Life with these Spicy Foods

There is a misconception about hot and spicy foods.

Some people think they’re dangerous – that they’ll actually burn the linings of the esophagus and stomach. For years it was believed foods like hot peppers and curry were the culprits behind ulcers.

A lot of folks still hold to this line of thinking. I run into them on a daily basis. They avoid anything with a little heat in it.

And boy are they missing out!

Incredible and Edible Medicinal Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a staple in my kitchen. I toss them in my omelets and frittatas, put them in soups, stews and stir fries, add them to salads and veggie wraps, and use them as a topping on meats and fish.

As it turns out, I’m the “odd man out.”

The average American only eats about four pounds of mushrooms – per person – in a given year. But me? I probably eat somewhere between a half pound and a full pound each week or so.

What is Your Favorite Fruit’s Super Power?

Fresh organic blueberries are, by far, one of my favorite snacks.

And it’s interesting because, as small as these berries are, you wouldn’t think they would pack much of a punch. But I’m getting a plethora of health benefits every time I pop one in my mouth.

Blueberries are jam-packed with a potent class of antioxidants called anthocyanins. One thing anthocyanins are great for is improving insulin sensitivity. They work by protecting the pancreatic beta cells that produce insulin. They also enhance insulin sensitivity in muscle, fat, liver cells and other vital organs.

The Italian Food Secret

My first trip to Italy was a real eye opener. And I want to tell you all about it. But first, I have a question for you.

What is your favorite Italian food?

Is it pasta smothered in tomato sauce, meatballs, sausage and cheese?

How about chicken parmesan? Do you love it?

The Unintended Consequences of “Safe” Sugar Substitutes

I’ve always been vocal about the many ways the makers of artificial sweeteners have tried to pull the wool over our eyes. They are all bad for you, but some of the worst are Truvia and Splenda Naturals Stevia Sweetener.

It started when Truvia was launched about 15 years ago. The company latched onto a highly successful marketing strategy. They touted this new product as a “naturally sweet and calorie-free sweetener from the stevia leaf.”

I’ll be very clear here. Truvia is not even close to being the same thing as natural stevia.

Make Your Veggies More Nutritious with this Simple Trick

There’s an interesting thing that happens when you mix certain plant-based foods together. In many cases, the nutritional power behind one or more of the foods gets super-charged.

For example, when you mix vitamin-C rich foods with those that contain plant-based (non-heme) iron, the vitamin C breaks the iron down so your body can absorb it more readily.

Put a little citrus, like lemon or lime juice, in your tea and it helps preserve somewhere between 80% to 90% of the health promoting catechins in tea after digestion. (Without citrus juice, less than 20% would normally remain post-digestion.)

Constipation, Laxatives and Your Gut Microbiome

In 2019, American adults spent over 1.5 billion dollars on over-the-counter laxatives!

Clearly, we are a nation of people with pooping problems. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be such a high demand for laxatives and stool softeners in our society.

But constipation doesn’t happen for no reason. There is always an underlying cause, whether it is diet, lack of physical activity or dehydration – and laxatives do nothing to treat any of these deficits.

What Your Urine Says About Your Health

How often do you think about your urine?

Most certainly when you HAVE TO PEE RIGHT NOW… and there are ten people ahead of you in the bathroom line. When that happens, pee is the ONLY thing you can think about.

Urine is likely on your mind it if it hurts when you take a pee. Or if you have a hard time peeing.

And you’re definitely going to think about your urine if you look into the toilet and see a color you don’t associate with pee. That can be extremely alarming!

The Secret Ingredient for Improved Physical Performance

Now that you’re lucky enough to be getting older, you might discover that when you go for a walk or take a ride on your bike, your body doesn’t respond the same way it did when you were younger. Maybe your muscles become more easily fatigued. You might lose your breath more quickly. Perhaps your legs get wobbly or you start feeling a little dizzy.

This might make you feel like you’re just not up to it anymore. But you can be!

You see, it doesn’t matter if you’re simply experiencing the results of an inactive lifestyle or have a more chronic condition going on – like reduced lung volume or peripheral artery disease. There’s a way to boost a compound in your body that is proven to enhance physical performance, endurance and stamina.

The Not So Sweet Side of Added Sugars

Not all sugars are the same.

We have natural sugars, those that are found in fruits and vegetables. Then we have added sugars. These are the ones added to processed foods like juices, soft drinks, pastries, breakfast cereals and other packaged foods.

Added sugars make up for most of our daily sugar intake, and they come under the guise of many different names. Sugar, cane juice, syrup, dextrose, fructose, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, maltose and lactose are just a few.

Easy Tricks to Improve Your Memory

Sitting down to dinner with a good book on my table stand after a long day of work is one of the highlights of my day. And on days when I don’t work, it’s a joy to be able to read anytime that I feel like.

Needless to say, I’m an avid reader; especially fiction. But there is an interesting thing that happens when a person reads fiction. 

Reading sends you off into a world of fantasy. It introduces new concepts and ideas, and let’s your imagination run wild as you try to guess where each twist and turn will take you. Not only that, but you have to learn about an entire cast of characters. Each event has to be committed to memory. Something as simple as a man who scratches his head could be the deciding clue.

Weird Stroke Triggers You Might Not Know About

My heart always goes out to stroke patients. One minute they’re perfectly fine. The next thing they know they are waking up in the hospital in complete confusion.

Then the recovery process starts… rediscovering language skills and re-training your body to cooperate with simple movements. It’s a very scary experience that nobody wants to go through in their lifetime.

In general, your lifestyle plays a very large role in your stroke risk. Regular physical activity, a healthy diet, limited alcohol intake and not smoking are the four most important factors that can protect you from a stroke.

The Diet That Causes Chronic Pain

All pain starts with inflammation. And low levels of chronic inflammation plague Americans.

You can blame it all on the way we eat. You see, a typical Western diet is high in fat. But it’s the wrong kind of dietary fat.

Let me explain… On one hand you have your omega-6 fatty acids. On the other, you’ve got your omega-3s. There is a much larger difference between these two fatty acids than most people would suspect.

Will Your Lifestyle Lead to a Stroke?

Up to 80 percent of all strokes can be prevented with basic lifestyle changes. In sheer numbers, this means four out of every five strokes could be averted.

Five of the best things you can do to protect against a stroke are to be a non-smoker, eat a healthy diet, participate in regular physical activity, maintain a healthy weight and keep your blood pressure in check.

While smoking is a challenge you have to take up on your own. The others have a way of working themselves out.

Can Your Nose Predict Alzheimer’s and Frailty?

Our sense of smell is something we use constantly.

It can be a first line of defense when it comes to alerting you to spoiled foods, dangerous chemicals or a fire. It detects scents that may soothe you, others that might evoke memories. And, of course, your nose picks up the odor of cooking foods which, in turn, stimulates a salivatory response.

For the most part, we take our sense of smell for granted. Still, the ability to detect and identify odors can decline with age. And when this happens, it could be signs of trouble ahead.

What is Your Tongue Trying to Tell You?

Did you know that physicians have been using the tongue to help diagnose patients’ health for thousands of years?

It’s basically an inspection of the shape, size, color, texture and coating of the tongue, and it can help reveal the state of your health. It is a unique feature of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which describes it as “inspecting the exterior to predict the interior.”

While it might sound odd that something as simple as looking at a tongue can help diagnose health conditions, science backs up the validity of using it as a diagnostic tool.

What Happens When Your Body Clock is a Mess?

When you think about your “body clock,” it’s likely that the only thing you associate it with is your sleep schedule. But what if I told you that your “clock” is running in every cell of your body, every single day minute of the day?

It’s true. In fact, three scientists who contributed to this discovery received the Nobel Prize for it. And it’s well deserved.

It turns out that our circadian rhythm is critical to much more than our sleeping habits. Any mismatch between our lifestyle and our internal clock can affect any number of biological processes.

Less Than 10 Minutes of Brisk Activity can Help Your Brain

Our bodies were made for movement, yet many of us get far too little physical activity. 

That’s unfortunate, because staying active as you age is one of the best things you can do to avoid dementia. It also helps reduce blood pressure, boost lung function, lower blood sugar and shed excess body fat. In fact, physical activity can help prevent over 35 different chronic health conditions.

But adding more physical activity to your life doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might think. And it doesn’t require an hour at the gym every day to get results.

The Most Potent Solution for High Blood Pressure

You can’t see or feel high blood pressure, but it’s a very real threat to the health of your heart, brain and other organs. That’s why we call it “the silent killer.”

When your blood pressure is high, the force of the blood creates microscopic tears and scarring in the inner walls of your blood vessels. Once the damage sets in, fats, cholesterol and other substances in your bloodstream start building up.

This narrows your arteries and makes them less flexible. It also makes your blood pump even harder, and can eventually lead to arterial blockages.

Decrease Arthritis Pain by as much as 89%

There is an interesting thing about people living on the New Zealand coast. They have a lower incidence of arthritis than those who live inland.

You might think it’s because they breathe fresh, sea air every day. Or perhaps it has something to do with swimming in all of the natural salts and minerals in the ocean’s water.

While I’m sure these coastal amenities have their benefits, there is a much simpler explanation for the lower rates of arthritis. It’s a seafood delicacy called green-lipped mussels. It’s a staple in the diets of coastal New Zealanders.

Dietary Fat: Friend or Foe?

Some people avoid fatty foods altogether. Other people can’t seem to stop eating them. And both of these scenarios are a problem.

First of all, your body needs healthy fats. You can’t absorb fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K if you don’t eat any fatty foods. These nutrients are absolutely essential for brain function, hormone production, energy levels and the health of your skin, bones and eyes.

Plus, an adequate intake of healthy fats helps keep you feeling full longer, keeps your blood sugar steady between meals and is associated with healthy weight.

Odd-Impact Walking Powers up Your Bones, Muscles

Growing old gracefully is something everyone strives for. But sometimes life catches up with you faster than you realize.

The next thing you know, you’re looking older and feeling weaker than you would like. Your muscles and bones aren’t as strong as they used to be. Your gait speed drops to that of a snail and you start forgetting things.

You might think this only happens to “old” people. But a slow gait speed can begin much earlier in life.

Just Five Minutes Can Offset the Risks of Sitting Too Much

When people spend hours at a time sitting still, they are just asking for trouble. I even tell people that “sitting is the new smoking,” because the health effects are similar.

Like smoking, prolonged periods of sitting increases the risk for heart disease, stroke, cancer and death. Both smoking and sitting also contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes, dementia and weakened bones.

Plus, when you sit for hours at a time it causes blood to pool in your legs. It slows down blood flow and causes it to become more viscous. This puts you at greater risk of developing blood clots. Because blood tends to pool in your legs and feet, that’s where you’re going to get the clots.

Walking in Nature Reduces Need for Some Medications

I love being outdoors in areas that have a lot of trees and plants. I instantly feel better. It clears my mind and sharpens my focus. It energizes me and soothes me all at the same time.

Nature has a tendency to do that for most people, and the benefits can be remarkable. Researchers in Finland found that regular exposure to green environments – like forests, parks, gardens, fields and meadows – can actually help reduce reliance on certain medications.

Specifically, spending time in green environments lowered the odds of using meds for anxiety, depression, insomnia, blood pressure and asthma.

This Supplement May Reduce Skin Cancer Risk

We’ve been told over and over again that sunlight is our enemy; that if we want to prevent skin cancer, we should avoid it altogether.

On the other hand, we know that not getting enough sun exposure actually increases the chance of developing almost all types of cancer; including melanoma, which is the most serious type of skin cancer.

In fact, studies show that sun exposure prior to and after diagnosis of melanoma is actually associated a better outcome.

Garlic Breath: A Sign of Good Health?

I love pretty much anything with garlic in it… garlic stuffed olives, roasted garlic hummus, wild caught shrimp in an EVOO garlic sauce. It can even make foods I’m not very fond of taste good.

Spicing up my foods with garlic doesn’t just make them delicious. It makes them extremely healthy.

Plus, I like the history behind garlic.

2 Spices That Help Manage Blood Sugar

Did you know that the older you are, the more likely you are to have type 2 diabetes?

It’s true. Nearly 30% of adults 65 and older are diabetic. And about another 50% have prediabetes. This means about eight out of every 10 seniors have blood sugar problems. Even worse, many older adults with these metabolic disorders don’t even know it!

One of the biggest problems with diabetes is that it causes serious damage to your body that can lead to heart disease, vision loss, kidney disease and nerve damage.

Foods that should NEVER be in Your Pantry

We all have routines to clean and unclutter our homes. We sort out our closets and drop unused clothing at donation centers. Old storage containers and utensils in our kitchen cupboards and drawers are discarded. Tired rugs, sheets and curtains are replaced. Unwanted foods in the refrigerator are placed in the trash bin on garbage day.

But when is the last time you looked at the packaged foods in your pantry and kitchen cabinets?

People tend to keep all sorts of food tucked away in their kitchen storage systems. Even if it’s foods they seldom, if ever, use. After all, nobody likes to waste good food!

Change Your Diet to Add Years to Your Life

Every year we see more and more evidence that the “Western” style of eating speeds up the aging process and leads to premature death. And sadly, this is how a large portion of the U.S. population eats. Our society seems to be addicted to commercial red meats, lunchmeat and hot dogs, refined grains, sugars and sweets.

At the same time, study after study proves to us that healthy dietary patterns not only extend life, they also reduce the risk of chronic disease. People who choose diets filled with more plant-based foods are less likely to die from cancer, cardiovascular disease, respiratory conditions and neurodegenerative diseases.

And you can get these life-extending benefits even if you start eating a healthy diet in your later years.

3 Food Mistakes that Make You Feel Hungry all of the Time

Here in the U.S., we have an abundance of food at our fingertips. Yet many folks can’t seem to get rid of that underlying “gnawing hunger” in their gut. They just feel the need to eat all of the time.

One of the biggest problems may be that we’re eating a lot of the wrong foods, and not enough of the right ones.

For example, many people think eating foods that contain fat cause weight gain. If you’re one of them, you may have cut fats from your diet in order to lose weight or keep from gaining any additional pounds.

The Okinawan Secret of Hara Hachi Bu

When I was growing up, my parents made me eat everything on my plate. My mom would always say, “there are starving children in China.” Then, I would be forced to sit at the table until every scrap on my plate was gone.

Growing up in a family where this rule was enforced can lead to a lifelong struggle with food and weight. Basically, it makes it impossible to stop eating when you are full because you are “programmed” to eat everything on your plate.

Plus, most people don’t understand that if they eat until they are “full,” they’ve already overeaten. That’s because it can take up to 20 minutes after we start eating for signals that register fullness to reach the brain.

#1 Beverage with Zero Calories

When you get thirsty, there are so many choices that are tastier than water. Soda, sweetened juices, or even a beer might sound good.

And sure, all of these beverages do offer some hydration. But you have to consider all of the crap found in them. Things like sugar, corn syrup, sodium, artificial sweeteners and flavorings that will send you down to the path of bad health and early death.

The more important point, however, is that your body needs water to survive. Up to 60% of the adult body is made up of water. It’s found in every cell, every organ and every type of tissue in your body. Even the bones contain water.

6 Ways to Support Your Aging Brain

The brain is an amazing thing. For our entire lives, it constantly sends electrical signals and messages that form trillions of neural pathways in the brain.

But imagine that those pathways are just like the streets and highways that connect cities and states. Streets along older routes become damaged and may or may not be repaired. Some roadways may wash away or shut down completely.

When you apply this concept to your brain, you can see why memory may begin to fail as we age.

Eat Nuts for Memory and Cognition

I like nuts. They’re loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients that fuel your body and protect against disease.

Nuts are especially good for your gut microbiome. That’s because they contain prebiotic compounds that support the growth of healthy gut bacteria. And what’s good for your gut is good for your entire body.

Nuts protect against cardiovascular disease, the development of type 2 diabetes and help control blood sugar. They’re great for fighting off dementia and Alzheimer’s. They battle cancer. And, despite the fact that many people believe they are fattening, they actually help people lose weight.

Is Your Gut the Key to Weight Loss?

There are many things that influence your ability to lose weight, and you know what most of them are. Getting plenty of physical activity. Avoiding fattening processed foods and sugars. Eating your fruits and veggies. These changes take time and effort, but they pay off in the long run.

But there’s another factor I’ll bet you haven’t heard about. And it might just play a big role when it comes to your ability to drop weight and fight obesity.

I’m talking about your gut bacteria, what we call the “gut microbiome.”

Do Cold and Cough Medications Work?

If you catch a cold this winter, you’ll probably find yourself standing in the cold-and-flu aisle at your local drugstore trying to figure out what to take. Do you need a decongestant, antihistamine, cough suppressant, or something else?

The thing is, nothing you take will actually cure a cold or shorten its duration. And, according to an expert panel at the journal Chest, none of those meds will make a cold-related cough less severe or make it go away faster, either.

So whether you take cough and cold medicines or not, a cold will generally run its course in seven to 10 days, and a typical cold-related cough can last three weeks or more.

The Surprising Effect of Antioxidants on Your Health

As an Advanced Natural Wellness reader, you know that chronic inflammation is the driving force behind aging and age-related disease. It’s an underlying contributor to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, arthritis, non-alcoholic fatty liver, kidney disease, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, Alzheimer’s disease, premature aging and so much more!

Unlike acute inflammation – the kind of inflammation you see when a wound turns hot, red and painful – chronic inflammation is invisible. You can’t see it or feel it. This long-term inflammatory state just silently eats away at your health and well-being.

For the most part, you can blame it on oxidative stress. This is something that occurs when unstable oxygen molecules known as free radicals build up in the cells and aren’t eliminated by the body. When this happens, it plays a crucial role in the development and persistence of inflammation.

How Much Do Genetics Matter?

When it comes to health, people place a lot of emphasis on their family history. They think “Oh, geez. Dad and grandpa both died so young that I probably don’t have much time left.”

Well I have some great news for you. It turns out that genetics don’t play nearly as big a role in your lifespan as previously thought.

In the largest analysis of its kind, researchers analyzed 54.43 million family trees from – including birth and death dates for 406 million people. And what did they discover?

Common Arthritis Treatments May Make It Worse

The use of corticosteroid injections for the treatment of osteoarthritis has been controversial for a long time. And there is a good reason for that.

While these injections may help relieve pain for a short while, they can actually worsen your arthritis. They damage bone and cartilage, cause rapid joint destruction, lead to stress fractures and may accelerate the need for joint replacement surgeries.

They also decrease immune system response and can affect blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

What You Should Know About Smoothies

I love fresh fruits and vegetables. They’re loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are good for my health… and yours.

Eating fresh, plant-based foods is one of the easiest ways to prevent cancer. These foods protect against high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and mental decline. They preserve your vision, prevent diabetes, keep you thin and support a healthy gut microbiota.

But there’s a problem. Here in the U.S., only one out of every 10 adults eat the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables. This means 90% of adults are eating less than the current guidelines of 1½ to 2 cups of fruit per day and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables.

The Fake Foods that are Destroying Your Health

Grocery store shelves are loaded with row after row of canned, boxed, bagged and other packaged foods that are so over-processed that I hesitate to even call them food.

They fall into the category of “ultra-processed foods.” In addition to salt, sugar and fat, they contain a vast amount of artificial ingredients that would never be found in nature.

Some of the substances found in ultra-processed products include non-sugar sweeteners, color stabilizers, bulking agents, emulsifiers, flavor enhancers and all sorts of other additives. These ingredients are guaranteed to fatten you up while leaving you feeling weak and hungry.

How a Lack of Sleep Wrecks Your Health

As we get older our sleep patterns change. It just seems harder to get as much sleep as we used to. And it could be caused by any number of reasons.

One reason is that older adults sometimes produce less melatonin than they used to. This is the hormone that promotes sleep. So if you’re not producing enough of it, you’ll find it harder to fall asleep when you want to.

Another reason is that, once some people reach a certain age, they don’t go outdoors as much.  Reduced levels of bright sunlight during the day can mess up your circadian rhythm. It also depresses evening melatonin production even further.

Low Thyroid is Frequently Misdiagnosed

Hypothyroidism is one of those misunderstood conditions that is often either undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. That’s because the symptoms are so wide-ranging that it can be difficult to pinpoint. Among other things, it can cause fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, irritability, depression, forgetfulness, weight gain, hair loss and dry skin.

In women, many of these symptoms are similar to those that accompany menopause. Plus, an untreated hypothyroid state can lead to depression. So it’s not uncommon for women to be sent away with a diagnosis of menopause or depression.

And because hypothyroidism is more common in women, many doctors completely overlook the possibility of low thyroid in men. But men can experience thyroid issues too, with the added symptoms of reduced sex drive, erectile dysfunction and low testosterone.

The Dark Side of Antibiotics

Some patients insist that they need an antibiotic for their cold or flu – even though antibiotics are 100% ineffective against viral infections. Still, there are plenty of doctors who will pull out the prescription pad and satisfy their request.

This type of inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics remains widespread. And it can be seen in the fact that antibiotic prescribing peaks in the winter months when cold and flu viruses flourish. On average, antibiotics are 42% more likely to be prescribed during February than September.

Add on the over-prescribing for other health conditions that don’t respond to antibiotics, and as many as four out of ten antibiotic prescriptions in the U.S. could be inappropriate. And most of the time, the strongest kind of antibiotics are being prescribed.

Why You Get Sick When You Fly, and How to Avoid It

If you flew anywhere last summer, you know how crazy things got. There were record-setting flight delays and cancellations. Many people were stuck in travel hell for days on end.

Things have settled down quite a bit since then. Still, high travel demand, limited flight availability and winter weather could result in chaotic cancellations and delays during holiday travel. So in addition to the time you spend on the airplane itself, you could find yourself hanging out in airports a lot longer than you would like.

Between the stress caused by potential delays, and being trapped in a huge tub of germs for hours at a time (think of your plane as a giant petri dish), the chance of getting sick within a day or two of reaching your destination is high.

Japanese Secret to Better Blood Pressure

People over in Japan often eat a traditional cucumber salad called sunomono. This dish is really easy to make. It’s simply sliced cucumbers in rice vinegar seasoned with a little soy sauce and sugar, and topped with sesame seeds. Other items, like seafood, seaweed or tomatoes, can be added as desired.

But there is something very interesting about this dish. Researchers in Japan found that men who habitually eat it have significantly lower blood pressure compared to those who don’t eat it regularly.

What is the big blood pressure lowering secret behind sunomono?

Lonely, Isolated and Sedentary: A Recipe for Dementia

As we age, we often find ourselves less socially active than we were when we were younger. Family and friends who have been bedrocks in our lives have passed away. Our adult children are busy with their own lives. Connections with our remaining friends dwindle.

It’s depressing to think about. And it can leave us vulnerable to feelings of loneliness and isolation that can lead us to sedentary behavior. That’s not good for anyone.

These behaviors are all associated with poor health outcomes and early death.

Is This How You’ll Lose Your Driver’s License?

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

One thing I notice when it comes to health concerns is that most people don’t pay nearly enough attention to their eyesight.

This is a mistake.

Your eyesight is your key to independence. Once it starts to go, all sorts of things happen.

What You Should Know About Colonoscopies

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

A New England Journal of Medicine article recently received a lot of press, with headlines suggesting that perhaps colonoscopies aren’t that useful after all.

But that’s misleading, because most of the news reports failed to focus on the most significant part of the article. As journalists like to say, “they buried the lead.”

You see, a research team invited 40,063 people between 55 and 64 years of age to have a colonoscopy. Another 56,365 people were not invited.

How Arterial Plaques Can Turn Deadly

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

One of the biggest health threats here in the U.S. is the build-up of plaque in the arteries. It’s known as atherosclerosis, and it’s the underlying cause of about 50% of all deaths in westernized countries.

As plaque builds up in the walls of blood vessels, it causes them to narrow and can even block blood flow altogether. A completely blocked artery can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

But most of the damage happens when plaques rupture, which is what causes the majority of acute cardiovascular events. Some reports estimate that as many as 75% of heart attacks are caused by ruptured plaque.

Fresh Produce vs. Frozen: Which is Better?

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

With the arrival of winter weather, fresh fruits and vegetables are going to be shipped from further and further away. In fact, according to the Fruit Growers Supply Company, the average fruit or vegetable you purchase at a local US grocery store travels at least 1,500 miles over the course of several days.

Once at the store, the produce could be on display for two or three days before you buy it. Then, when you bring your purchases home, they might sit around on the counter or in the refrigerator for another week or so.

So there can be a significant period of time between when the produce is harvested and when it ends up on your dinner plate. And during the time, those fruits and veggies are going to lose nutritional value.

Probiotics are Just One Piece of the Puzzle

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

There is a lot of confusion about prebiotics and probiotics. And then there is another type “biotic” altogether, called postbiotics, that most people don’t even know about.

What are they? Where do they come from? How are they different from one another?

Let’s start with the basics.

Warm and Cozy Winter Beverages

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

I always start my morning with a cup of tea or coffee.

Both of these caffeinated beverages are high in antioxidants. They help me start my day with focus and energy. They’re great for my cardiovascular system and my liver. They lower my risk of heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. Plus they help burn fat. 

So my day gets off to a great start!

Two Blood Thinners at Once Are Worse Than One

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

Millions of people take blood thinners to prevent blood clots that can lead to a heart attack or stroke. But combining blood thinners with aspirin can be risky business.

Taken on their own, blood thinners can cause excessive bleeding from even the simplest injury, like a paper cut or stubbed toe. A minor bump on the head can result in intracranial hemorrhage. So, just like all medications, they come with risk.

Warfarin (Coumadin) is the oldest and most commonly used. But we also have the newer ones; apixaban (Eliquis), dabigatran (Pradaxa) and rivaroxaban (Xarelto).

Artificial Sweeteners: A Spoonful of Poison

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

Maybe you’re trying to lose weight or need to take better control of your blood sugar. So you’ve decided to do yourself a favor and substitute sugar with artificial sweeteners.

I understand the appeal. The marketers for these fake sugars make it sound like they are the cure-all for obesity and metabolic issues. They aren’t.

It’s just not good for you.

Too Much Sodium, Too Little Potassium

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

We often hear about the negative health consequences of too much sodium in our diets.

 It raises blood pressure, contributes to plaque formation in the arteries and raises your risk of heart attack or stroke. It is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, can trigger kidney stones, aggravates joints and creates an inflammatory environment in the body.

It’s just not good for you.

Can Aluminum Pans Cause Alzheimer’s?

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

The debate over the link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease has been raging for over 50 years.

Study after study shows that aluminum is a neurotoxicant. It generates an inflammatory response in the brain. It promotes the accumulation and misfolding of beta amyloid and tau proteins. And it is often found in the brain tissue of patients with Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases

Yet you’ll still hear that exposure to aluminum through foods, beverages and personal care products isn’t an issue – that dementia and impaired neural function are “never caused by routine exposure to aluminum.”

Can a Serving of Mushrooms a Day Keep the Doctor Away?

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

Mushrooms are a staple in my kitchen. I toss them in my omelets and frittatas, put them in soups, stews and stir fries, add them to salads and veggie wraps, use them as a topping on meats and fish.

But I’m in the minority here.

As it turns out, the average American only eats about four pounds of mushrooms over the course of an entire year. That’s a paltry amount when you compare it to the 22+ pounds the average person in China consumes each year.

Nutrients You Aren’t Getting from Your Food

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

How many times have you heard that vitamins are a waste of money and you’re just making expensive urine, throwing money down the drain if you purchase them?

But the fact is, vitamins are needed to fill in nutritional gaps that, if not addressed, could lead to some very serious health concerns.

You see, these days it’s virtually impossible to get all of the vitamins and minerals you need through diet alone.

Breathe Your Way to a Good Night’s Sleep

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

I recently had an older patient who told me she couldn’t sleep at night. Every time she closes her eyes, all she does is worry about her children. They’re not doing well, and it is the only thing she can think about.

This is very common among our senior citizens. They become stressed out over their children who are having a rough time. Or maybe their grandkids are having problems. They might even have great grand children who aren’t doing well.

I hear this a lot. And it is a big concern.

Easy Way to Avoid Knee Pain

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

Your knees are important to you. You use them every time you sit, stand, walk, lift or jump. But when they become inflamed and irritated, it can become debilitating and interfere with even the simplest of daily activities.

Around one in every two adults will develop symptoms of knee osteoarthritis (OA) at some point in their lives. So even if you don’t have symptoms of knee (OA) yet, you have about a 50/50 chance of developing it the future.

However, new research out of Baylor College of Medicine shows that there may be away to prevent OA in the knees from becoming painful.

Natural Ways to Avoid the Flu

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

Flu season is here, and if early data out of Australia is any indication, we might be in for a bad one. Over there, winter starts in June and ends in August, so we generally use their data to predict how the flu season will play out in North America.

This year, that country had a wave of flu cases that surpassed pre-pandemic rates. And while that isn’t a 100% guarantee that the same will occur here, the environment is ripe for it.

You see, over the past several years we’ve seen flu cases drop dramatically. In fact, the flu practically disappeared. In the 2019-2020 season more than 35 million people here in the U.S. had the flu. When you compare that to only 1,675 positive cases in the 2020-2021 season, the difference is staggering.

The Scary Side of OTC Medications

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

People seem to think that over-the-counter medications (OTCs) are safe. After all, why would they be sitting there for anyone to buy if they weren’t?

Well, you have to remember that OTC meds are still drugs. And there is no such thing as a completely safe drug.

Take acetaminophen for example. It is the most common cause of acute liver failure and the second most common reason for liver transplants here in the U.S. And it irreversibly reduces the master antioxidant glutathione your liver needs to produce to protect you.

Does Gout Put You at Risk for Stroke or Heart Attack?

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

Even though gout is quite common, it’s one of the most misunderstood forms of inflammatory arthritis.

Gout is caused by a build-up of uric acid in the body, a condition called hyperuricemia (pronounced hyper-yur-i-see-me-ya). This causes solid uric acid crystals to form in joints that results in excruciating pain.

The thing about gout is that the flare-ups occur on an irregular basis. They can happen suddenly once or twice a year. Maybe even less. In chronic cases, flare-ups will occur more frequently. And in either case the symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks.

Why You Should Eat Fatty Foods for Breakfast

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

Ask someone what their breakfast consists of and you’ll get a wide array of answers. Some people skip it altogether. Others take the easy route. Coffee with a muffin, bagel or toast. Maybe cereal, a pastry, waffle or breakfast bar.

Then there are the traditional breakfast eaters who go for pancakes, French toast, breakfast sandwiches or eggs with ham, bacon or sausage.

But are any of these the right way to start your day?

Hidden Food Ingredients that Harm Your Heart

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

These days just about everyone knows a salty diet is bad for the heart. But did you know that sugar is also linked to heart disease?

In fact, there was one 15-year study that found people who ate more added sugar were more than twice as likely to die from heart disease compared those who at the least of it.

Sugar raises your blood pressure, triglycerides and heart rate. To top it off, we now know that sugars fill your bloodstream with deadly small, dense LDL particles. These are the type of LDL that slip into your arteries and cause the plaque buildup associated with heart attacks.

Can Stretching Reduce Cognitive Decline?

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

It’s estimated that just over 40% of Alzheimer’s and dementia cases in America are caused by 12 modifiable risk factors: physical inactivity, obesity, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, excess alcohol consumption, depression, traumatic brain injury, hearing loss, fewer years of education, social isolation, and air pollution.

That’s a long list! But I can whittle it down quite a bit for you.

The top three risk factors on that list are obesity, physical inactivity and high blood pressure. So if you can take care of these, you can greatly reduce your chances of dementia.

Walk for Your Health

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

I remember when my relatives, with all of my great aunts and great uncles, would get together for a big holiday dinner. Not long after we finished eating, they would all get up and go outside to take a walk.

You don’t see much of this anymore. That’s a shame, because even a short two-minute walk after eating can lower blood sugar. This, in turn, can help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In fact, it even helps people who are at high risk of diabetes maintain better blood sugar and insulin responses after meals.

So even a little bit of walking after a meal is better than none at all. Still, the longer amount of time you spend walking, the greater the benefits. If you can extend the length of your walk to 30 minutes or so, it can cut your risk of diabetes by about 50%.

Why You Probably Aren’t Eating Enough Protein

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

We are not eating enough protein in our later years. That’s a fact.

To top it off, as we age, our bodies have a harder time synthesizing protein. So even if you think you’re getting plenty of it in your diet, it won’t have the same affect it had on your bone and muscle mass as it did when you were younger.

This is one of the reasons we become frail and have an increased risk of falls and fractures as we grow older. In fact, we often see that patients who have fractured a hip or another bone aren’t getting enough protein.

The Healthiest Potatoes on Earth

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

People love their potatoes! The average American eats about 135 pounds of potatoes a year. That’s the equivalent of approximately one potato each day.

Russet potatoes – sometimes called Idaho potatoes – are the most well-known type of potatoes in the United States. We bake them, mash them, fry them, roast them and boil them.

Unfortunately, they’re also starchy and carry a high glycemic load. So they can cause a rapid spike in blood sugar and insulin—which is quickly followed by a sugar crash.

My #1 Cocktail for Stress and Inflammation

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

Back when I was in medical school decades ago, I was taught to treat the patient, not the symptoms…that if you really listened to them tell their story, it would tell you what their medical problem was.

This is a message I took to heart. And as medicine started pivoting towards fitting patients into diagnostic codes for insurance payments and general prescriptionism and less about patient centered care, I became part of the very first group of U.S. physicians ever trained in functional medicine.

That means my focus and treatment plan is personalized to each patient based on their comprehensive history, physical exam, specific concerns, lifestyle, genetics and environmental variables. I give my patients ALL their options… not just drugs and surgery.

Common Viruses Could Trigger Alzheimer’s

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

When talking about Alzheimer’s, we often refer to amyloid plaques and tau tangles. The common belief is that these are the underlying cause of the disease – and that if you get rid of them, you’ll be cured.

But it turns out these proteins may actually be a part of your body’s natural immune response against infection. In other words, they are trying to protect the brain from an infectious agent – such as a bacteria or virus.

More specifically we’ve learned over the years that herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1) – the kind that causes cold sores – never really leaves the body. It lies dormant in your neurons until something triggers it to become active again.

Not All Back Pain is the Same

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

Back pain is the most common form of pain in the U.S. In 2019, 39.0% of people experienced some sort of back pain. And unfortunately, it hits almost everyone – around four out of every five people – at some point in their lives.

The good news is that most cases of back pain are temporary. About nine times out of ten pain improves without surgery. The bad news is that, during a flare-up, back pain can be excruciating and severely restrict daily activities. And there are a lot of reasons for it.

In most short-term cases back pain is likely caused by muscle strain. This can be caused by numerous reasons; lifting something heavy, repetitive movements, sleeping in the wrong position. You twist the wrong way, sit in the same position for too long or bend too far.

It’s Okay if You Only Workout on Weekends

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

It’s amazing how confusing the concept of exercise can be. Ask five different fitness experts what you should be doing, and you’ll get five different answers.

“You should workout every day…”

“It’s okay if you only workout on the weekends…”

Is “Hangry” a Real Thing?

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

A lot of people get in a bad mood when they’re hungry. They can throw a temper tantrum and lash out at the simplest little thing.

These days there is a name for it. We call it being “hangry.”

But is it really just a mental state? A bad mood? A feeling of irritation or annoyance?

Is Low T in Your Future?

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

Something we are seeing a lot these days are patients who say their grandsons – who are in their 20’s and 30’s – are looking to begin testosterone replacement therapy. That should never happen, because it will affect a young man’s testicular size and future fertility.

The thing is, testosterone levels begin to fall off by one or two percent each year starting at around age 30. Over time this can have a big impact on the amount of free testosterone circulating throughout your body. Thus, low testosterone levels increase substantially with age.

So unless there are some major issues going on with these younger men, they should have much more robust testosterone levels than their aging counterparts.

Is Manopause a Real Thing?

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

Even though there are dozens of trials and dozens more ready to be done, the idea that men go through male menopause – or “manopause” – isn’t totally accepted in the medical community. It’s not even accepted by a lot of men.

Does that make it any less real?

In women, menopause is basically ovarian failure. The levels of female hormones produced by the ovaries plunge, her menses stop, and she is no longer fertile.

Everything You Never Knew About Vitamin D

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

When you eat citrus fruits, cantaloupe or broccoli, you are boosting your vitamin C levels.  Nuts, seeds, avocados and spinach are going to increase your vitamin E intake. And you will get plenty of vitamin A from your leafy greens, along with your orange, yellow and red vegetables.

But where do you get your vitamin D?

With the exception of a few fatty fish, very few foods naturally contain it. So it’s hard to get enough vitamin D in your diet.

Plus, vitamin D isn’t really a vitamin at all!

Nootropics: Food for Your Brain

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

Not very long ago, scientists believed that when we lost communication between brain cells, those connections and memories were lost forever. But there is one nutrient that can actually increase the communication between your brain cells.

The nutrient I’m talking about is phosphatidylserine (PS).

It is an all-natural substance that your doctor probably won’t tell you about. In fact, he probably doesn’t even know about it. That’s because since the early 20th century medical schools rarely if ever added a course or lecture on natural health care solutions. Why would they, we were trained to be prescriptionists unless a surgical residency was in our future.

Are Avocados a Super Food?

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

On July 27th you learned all about blueberries, one of my favorite foods.

Another favorite of mine is avocados. And while avocados have never “officially” been part of the Mediterranean diet, I think they fit perfectly with the Mediterranean style of eating. They are rich and creamy with a mild taste. And they have an even more potent nutrient profile than olives.

Like olives, avocados are high in fiber, monounsaturated fats, vitamin A and vitamin E. Both of these fruits also have a high content of two powerful antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin.

Nuts to You!

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

Some of the simplest foods are the ones that are best for you. In the past few weeks I’ve shared a few of my favorites with you. You learned all about the health benefits of blueberries and avocados.

Now let’s take a look at the wonderful world of nuts.

I like all of them. I eat them by the handful. I add them to salads and sprinkle them over veggies. It doesn’t matter what kind they are, so I usually buy mixed nuts. But other times, I’ll just grab a bag of one type of nut or another.

A Handful of These Berries Can Do All That?

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

Fresh organic blueberries are, by far, one of my favorite snacks. The taste alone is enough to have me hooked on these tiny berries. I might even eat them if they were bad for me.

But they aren’t!

As small as blueberries are, you wouldn’t think they would pack much of a punch. But I’m getting a plethora of health benefits every time I munch on them.

The Toxic Side of Antibiotics

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

In the July 25th issue of Advanced Natural Wellness you learned how antibiotics are contributing to inflammatory bowel disease in older adults.

Today I would like to share more information on a specific class of antibiotics: fluoroquinolones. These drugs come with a long list of disabling side effects. It’s not just a few minor side effects – or even a lot of minor side effects.

No. We are talking about at least five very serious, life-altering side effects. And physicians often don’t make the connection between fluoroquinolones and these side effects, even though the FDA has sent out numerous safety announcements associated with these antibiotics.

Why is IBD Increasing in Older Adults?

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

The discovery of antibiotics is one of the greatest medical breakthroughs in history. Prior to Dr. Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin, even a seemingly minor cut to the skin could be deadly.

The amazing thing about it is that his discovery was completely accidental. And at the time, nobody else seemed very interested in his work. So things could have easily gone in a very different direction. Just imagine how different our lives could have been! Still, antibiotics do come with several downsides.

This brought the researchers to the realization that heart disease may not be as genetic as they previously believed. And they were right.

Take This Supplement Daily to Protect Your Heart

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

Up until 50 years ago, we didn’t know much of anything about omega-3 fatty acids. The big breakthrough didn’t come until 1971. That’s when researchers compared the eating patterns of Eskimos and Danish people up in Greenland.

What they learned is that the Eskimos had much lower rates of heart disease and a complete absence of diabetes compared to the Danish people. The Eskimos also had significantly lower concentrations of total lipids, cholesterol and triglycerides.

This brought the researchers to the realization that heart disease may not be as genetic as they previously believed. And they were right.

Can this Hot Spice Treat Shingles Pain?

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

If you had chickenpox as a kid, you still have the virus in your body. It never really goes away after a chickenpox attack. Instead it sets up housekeeping in your nerves, where it can lie dormant for years.

But when you get older it can be reactivated as herpes zoster – the virus linked to shingles.

Once this happens, the virus travels to the skin and causes flu-like sensations like chills, fever and headache. And it doesn’t take long before tiny, red-rimmed blisters start appearing over the affected nerves. But the worst symptom, by far, is the nerve pain. It can be unbearable. A large percentage of adults over the age of 60 have opted not to receive the shingles vaccine. But even those who have received it can experience “breakthrough” cases. So there is no sure-fire way to prevent shingles.

A Heat Wave Can Worsen These Health Conditions

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

It’s not just hot, it’s sweltering! And while it can be extremely uncomfortable, especially if you need to be outdoors or don’t have air conditioning, I have much larger concerns.

The kind of scorching weather we’ve been experiencing recently can have a terrible effect on your health. Especially if you existing health conditions. We saw it last year, during the heat wave that struck the Northwest.

Last June, when most of Oregon and Washington were under an excessive heat warning, emergency room visits peaked on June 28, 2021. On that day there were 1,038 emergency room visits for heat-related illness. That compares to only nine heat-related ER visits on the same day in 2019.

Common Drugs Linked to ED

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

There are a lot of reasons men experience erectile dysfunction. At the top of the list are vascular problems. If you don’t have a healthy blood flow, you’re not going to be able to get and maintain an erection.

This connection is so well established that I often warn male patients that ED is a crucial early warning sign of cardiovascular disease.Why is this? Well, the penile arteries are

Cosmetics and Cookware Tied to Diabetes and Fatty Liver

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

Over 100 years ago, William Howard Taft was the heaviest President to ever hold office in the U.S. Weighing in at more than 340 pounds he was what we call morbidly obese. At 275 pounds, Grover Cleveland was the second-heaviest President.

But it’s interesting to note that neither of these men developed adult-onset diabetes. In fact, most morbidly obese people back in those days never became diabetic.

The reason is oddly simple. Prior to the mid-1900s, people weren’t exposed to all of the toxins that are so prevalent in our society today.  Many of these toxins are now being called diabetogens, because they have such a profound effect on blood sugar control.

How to Power Up Your Brain Cells

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

Not very long ago, scientists believed that when we lost communication between brain cells, those connections were lost forever. But there is one nutrient that can actually increase the communication between your brain cells.

The nutrient I’m talking about is phosphatidylserine (PS). It is an all-natural substance that your doctor probably won’t tell you about. In fact, he probably doesn’t even know about it. That’s because, these days, medical schools don’t teach their students enough about natural health care solutions.

How to Eat for a Heat Wave

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

Baby, it’s hot outside!

It looks like another temperature-breaking summer is here. And if it’s anything like last year, it’s time to find ways to stay cool and beat the heat.

In addition to staying as cool as possible, one of the most important things you can do when temperatures reach extreme highs is make sure you’re eating foods that will provide you with plenty of hydration and nutrition.

Another Coffee Myth Debunked

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

Like a lot of other people, I usually have a cup of coffee or green tea in the morning to get my day started.

Both of these caffeinated beverages are high in antioxidants. They boost my energy levels and brain function. They’re great for my liver and lower my risk of stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes. Plus they help burn fat. But if you have any known arrhythmias or atrial fibrillation, your doctor may have told you to avoid caffeine altogether.

This “One-Two Punch” May Predict Dementia

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

Decreased walking speed often occurs as we age. And as a physician, I often use gait speed to get a handle on the general health, physical mobility and frailty of some of my older patients.

Slow gait speed can also be a sign that mild cognitive impairment or dementia is in a patient’s future. It really all depends…

We know that slow walkers in their 40’s have smaller brain volumes, show more cortical thinning and a greater number of white matter lesions – all of which are linked to mental decline and dementia.

Eggs Are Back on the Menu

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

After getting a bad rap for the last 40 years or so, eggs are finally back on the menu!

Years and years of scientific research has concluded that there is no link between egg consumption and high cholesterol. Even the US Dietary Guidelines recommend eating eggs as a healthy, nutrient dense source of protein.

But some people are still afraid to eat them. And that’s a shame, because they are missing out on all of the health benefits that eggs offer.

What is Toe Jam, and when is it a Problem?

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

One of the most neglected parts of the human body is the feet.

Most people – especially men, but women can be just as guilty – hide their feet inside a pair of shoes all day when they are out of the house, then tuck them into slippers or socks when they get home.

When they finally get around to looking at their feet, they might discover a bunch of gunk has built up between their toes. And this is truly a mystery – if you’ve had your feet covered all day, where did all this disgusting crap come from?

The Ancient Medicinal Spice that Adds Life

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

Ancient medicine had so many things right!

Long before we had antibiotics, antacids, pain relievers and a drug for every ailment, plants were our number one form of medicine. They were used to treat anything and everything.

Only recently are we rediscovering the healing power of herbs, spices and plant extracts that were used medicinally thousands of years ago. And we are finding some real gems when it comes to the incredible effect some of these medicinal plants have on our health.

Sweat Those Toxins Out of Your Body

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

The Scandinavian people have been sweating their way to great health for centuries. It’s a hallmark of their culture, especially in Finland. These guys have somewhere around 3.2 million saunas for a population of 5.5 million Finns.  So that’s one sauna available for nearly every two people in the country.

It’s a lifestyle!

How to Sleep When Pain Won’t Let You

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

If you’re not getting enough sleep every night it might be by choice, or it might be involuntary. But either way, you probably don’t think of it as a health concern.

That’s a mistake. And it’s not just because a poor night’s sleep leaves you with brain fog that affects your thinking, decision-making and motor skills the next day. Less than optimal sleep can have a huge impact on nearly all aspects of your health:

It makes you gain weight and belly fat. Even in young, healthy and lean people, shortened sleep time is associated with an increase in calorie consumption, weight gain and a significant increase in belly fat.

Is Fiber All It’s Cracked Up to Be?

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

When I was growing up, the only time people talked about fiber was when they were constipated. But most of them never actually tried to eat more of it. Instead, they would just take some castor oil, prune juice or ex-lax until the next time they experienced bowel problems.

But these days we hear a lot about fiber and how good it is for us. It reduces body weight, lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, helps with diabetes, reduces inflammation and improves immune function.

How can fiber do all of this? After all, isn’t fiber indigestible?

This One Thing Treats up to 26 Chronic Health Conditions

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

In the May 27th issue of Advanced Natural Medicine, you learned about the negative side effects of blood pressure lowering medications.

All prescription drugs have their issues. Not a single one of them is 100% safe. And most of them don’t actually cure disease. The minute you stop taking a symptom reducing medication, whatever symptoms and complications you were experiencing will return. You’ve got your statins. Drugs to lower blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity. Then there are the meds for pain, depression, anxiety and countless other conditions. There’s pretty much a drug for anything and everything.

How High Blood Pressure Affects Your Kidneys

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

Here’s a number that will knock your socks off. About half of all U.S. adults – 116 million of us – have high blood pressure.

Good grief! That’s one out of every two people! It’s no wonder blood pressure meds are taken by so many people.

These medications can be a lifesaver when used properly. But they shouldn’t be used long-term as your primary source of blood pressure control. Just like most prescription meds, they come with their own set of problems.

High Blood Sugar Could be Harming Your Muscles

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

Two of the main reasons people avoid sugary foods is to minimize weight gain and maintain healthy blood glucose levels.

What most people don’t realize is that sugar isn’t the only type of food that interferes with your weight and blood sugar.

Let’s say you gave up donuts. We all know they’re loaded with sugar. Then dipped in more sugar. And then topped with more sugar. So giving donuts up is a great place to start.

Easy way to improve bone health

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

As we age, we reach the point where old bone breaks down faster than it’s being replaced. The result is osteoporosis… weak, brittle bones that break and fracture easily. And it’s not just women who are affected.

Around one in three men over the age of 50 already have low bone mass density. And by age 75, their risk of a hip fracture increases rapidly.

What can you do about it?

These Foods are a Breast Cancer Survivor’s Best Friends

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

The biggest fear for women who have survived breast cancer is that it will come back. This is a threat that survivors of all types of cancer face every day.

Sadly, there is no silver bullet to prevent recurrence. However there are things you can do in your life to help lower your risk. You probably already know that weight loss, stress reduction, plenty of physical activity and a healthy diet can all go a long way toward helping you remain cancer free.

But you may not be aware of a few specific foods that can have a big impact on your life when it comes to remaining cancer free.